Inside the Parthenon

Inside the Parthenon The Parthenon Frieze from The Greeks documentary


A master sculpture named Phidias was responsible for several of the elements of the Parthenon Frieze, as well as the overall design of the Parthenon itself. Sadly, his most glorious sculpted figure no longer survives. A fantastic figure of the goddess Athena, decorated in gold and ivory, stood over 12 meters high in the very center of the building. Such was the wealth on this statue (it cost as much to create as the Parthenon itself) it had the dual role of providing an emergency treasury for Athens if money run low.

The Parthenon was completed around 438 BC, well ahead of schedule. Despite this Pericles' opponents tried to prosecute Phidias for embezzlement of funds, and he was later forced into exile. The charge does not appear to have blighted his later career: he went on to build an even greater statue in the same style as his Athena. Although it too has been lost to history, Phidias' Statue of Zeus at Olympia was even more glorious, becoming one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.




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Building of the Parthenon
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